July 26, 2011 7:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins
Originally uncovered by the folks at fansite Neo-Geo, and later picked up by our very own sister site Gamasutra, is a mountain of technical information that SNK provided to those wishing to make games for their Neo Geo home and arcade system, all compressed into a 220 page PDF.
Not only is hardware covered exhaustively, but software as well. There's even a timeline provided that breaks down how long they believe the developmental process should be; in their opinion, it's a 14-step process that takes approximately 10-14 months. Though the most entertaining section is labeled "Game Content, Language, and Symbol Consideration" on page 106, which provides the following guidelines...
"1. Avoid scenes of spurting blood or ultra violence for the game actions, even in secret moves.
2. Symbols of adult consumption such as liquor bottles and cigarettes or large wads of money require special consideration.
3. Avoid religious symbols of any form.
4. Copyrighted symbols and trademarks or brand names are not recommended, unless there is a brand tie-in for the game basis. Similarly, avoid using famous people's names or likenesses due to possible invasion of privacy.
5. Profanity and anti-social language are to be avoided.
6. Avoid using sound effects or music that is borrowed without permission of the authors/composers."
Which is immediately following by this bit of advice that still works today:
"As a general rule, the most important thing to remember is to give a good play value without resorting to shock tactics. Comedy in good taste is a very good method to add gaming value to any game. If the whole family can laugh together at a game with a sense of humor, it provided a more enjoyable experience without being offensive."
Also worth checking out is page 167, which talks heavily about location testing. Apparently, SNK was able to determine the perfect length of play for any game (meaning, how long a player should be able to go until having to drop another quarter) was between 2 minutes 30 seconds and 3 minutes 30 seconds.
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